July 2011 – Cunning Mr Fox

They say don’t count you chicks until they are hatched and that’s certainly true this month. A fox has come and taken several of our ducks. In one way he did us a favour as he took the three drakes that were bullying the girl ducks and left us with Lenny and the two ducks who had been sitting on eggs. Unfortunately he spooked the girls and they have abandoned the nest and haven’t laid any eggs since. It was hard to know how to protect the remaining animals. The cockerels can’t bear to be locked in their pen and would have paced up and down all day and the ducks are not used to being confined either. Instead I tried to trace where the fox was getting in and found a path through the hay field behind our cottage up to our back wall to a small area where some brambles had been mulched. The brambles must normally act as an impenetrable barrier. Knowing the fox was gaining access at the back of the cottage where the ducks liked to sit, I decided to move them to the front lawn and put up extra fencing to stop the fox. It seems to have worked and we haven’t lost any further ducks. The two girl ducks that are left are completely enamoured with Lenny, as he’s really gentle with them and their feathers, the bullying drakes had pulled out, have all grown back. Lenny and the girls now like to share a duck house and as soon as the cockerels saw that the other duck house was free they moved in – as it’s much larger than theirs! Although on windy nights they can still be found snuggled up in their little chicken house, much cosier.

  

 
The cockerals have taken to hiding in flowerpots to outwit the fox and Lily thinks its a good idea too!

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